The Impact of Climate Change on Coral Reefs

How does climate change affect coral reefs?

Answer:

Climate change affects coral reefs by causing sea temperatures to rise, leading to coral bleaching and eventual death.

Coral reefs are highly sensitive to changes in the environment, particularly to rising sea temperatures. When the water temperature increases, corals expel the algae living in their tissues, causing them to turn white, a phenomenon known as coral bleaching.

Without the algae, coral reefs lose their main food source and become more susceptible to disease. If the stress from bleaching is prolonged, the corals may die, leading to the degradation of entire reef systems.

In addition to coral bleaching, ocean acidification resulting from increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere also poses a threat to coral reefs. The acidification weakens the calcium carbonate structures that corals build, making it harder for them to grow and survive.

Therefore, the impact of climate change on coral reefs is profound and threatens the biodiversity and long-term health of these important marine ecosystems.

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